Sunday, April 26, 2009

Easter activities

Kaelyn had a lot of fun on Easter this year. Every year, I have fixed up eggs to do a small Easter egg hunt for her and she has never really caught on or seemed to care about finding them. I told Kevin this year that I wasn't going to go through the bother of buying stuff because I didn't know if she would even care. Then I got to thinking about it and thought "What if this is the year that she catches on and thinks it's fun?" So I bought a bag of candy and filled about a dozen plastic eggs. After dinner at Rachel and John's, I went outside and hid the eggs around the front yard. Well... not only did she catch on this time, she loved it! As a matter of fact, those same eggs were hidden no less than 5 times that day! All I had to do is lead her to a couple and show her how to put them in her basket and off she went. Even though she doesn't exactly understand numbers and the way they work, by the end of the first time, she had memorized what all eggs there were and of the ones that were the same, she knew how many of those there should be. Later in the afternoon, she wanted to look for them again (though that's not exactly how she said it). So I hid them again - and again. Then Kevin hid them for her and put them in harder spots. Then Rach hid them. Every time, she would [apparently] keep track in her mind of what ones she had found and she always knew when she had found the last one. We tried slipping a couple of hard boiled, dyed ones in but when she saw them, she would leave them lying on the ground because they weren't part of "the group" of eggs she had been searching for. We've also hidden them around the house 2 or 3 times since Easter. So, as you can tell, it was quite a hit.
The other activity she loved was dying them. I didn't think she would get into this at all but I don't know what I was thinking. She is quite obsessed with playing in cups of water - or any liquid for that matter. She'll pour and repour and scoop and dip toys in any water she can find. So... dropping eggs into cups of colored water was just the funnest thing ever. We showed her how to use the little plastic egg holder thingy that came in the set and she just sat there one after another putting the eggs on the holder, than lowering them down into the dye. She also enjoyed fishing them out again but she didn't really care about putting the stickers on them or doing anymore decorating once they were colored. Somehow, we missed taking pictures of her looking for the eggs but I think Rach got some. We do have some cute ones of her dying them though so I included them below.

I was impressed with her coordination here because
that's one thing she struggles with but I'm sure the
therapy at school has helped a lot.

She was so intense about this and wanted
to do more but we didn't have any more.

Putting the finished products in the carton

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Non girlie-girl Easter pictures

You can buy the frilliest, prettiest dress you can find and put it on a little girl but you can't force them to not want to climb trees and get dirty.
Hang on for the ride - there are MANY pictures below so you can just scroll through as many as you care to see.

Love the fake grin here. :)

...And here.

Just hangin' out in the tree.

Interesting perspective

Like this one

Like this one a lot too.
Family photo squinting into the sun.

Actually not a bad pic. of the 3 of us.

"Talking" on her Ariel phone she got for Easter.
John and Kay-Kay looking at pictures.

Back up in the tree... and still talking on the phone. :)
Probably one of the most unusual poses for
a family photo!

Monday, April 20, 2009

My pride and joy!

My "almost four year old" at the end of school today - looking so cute, learning so much, doing so well - even the pigtails, which have always made her look younger, don't seem to be stopping her from getting too big, too fast anymore.

I know I am her mom and thus partial, but
I just think this is the most adorable picture. :)

She's obsessively fascinated with umbrellas. Any time she
sees a puddle from the sprinkler (she thinks that means
rain) or real rain, she runs to get one of her umbrellas.
She was so excited when she heard it raining this
afternoon. She stood on the porch getting soaked
despite the umbrella until a loud clap of thunder
terrified her. Then she watched from the safety of
the house.
P. S. I DO have lots of Easter pictures - cute Easter
pictures - I will try to get them posted soon. My poor
blog is feeling kind of ignored and rejected. I'm pretty
sure of that even though it hasn't come right out
and told me that. :)

Saturday, April 11, 2009

A quick thought for Easter

The other day we were discussing the story of the mythical god Hercules. We were trying to remember what the story was about and I casually mentioned that I don't know/remember the stories of the various gods very well. Later, the thought popped into my head - "out of all the supposed gods throughout history that held super powers, why have Christians so easily accepted Jesus as our god?" and just as quickly the answer popped into my head - "No other gods in history "lived" for the sole purpose of dying for the human race. No other gods ever loved us so much or died and rose again so that we could have eternal life." And as Kevin mentioned later when I told him my thought, many of the gods that men have believed in over the years were cruel gods who used their power only for their advantage. They only showed kindness to people when people did something to appease them and make THEM happy. Kind of sounds more like HUMAN nature doesn't it? Though I'm not sure I will ever completely understand unconditional love - a love so great that you would give everything for someone KNOWING ahead of time that they are going to reject your love and sacrifice and pain - I would choose a god like that any day! I wasn't really trying to think about Easter and what it means at the time but just the realization and reminder that Christ's death and resurrection is what sets us apart from other religions made me feel excited about Easter and think about it in a whole new light. I met someone recently who is supposedly an atheist. I say "supposedly" because he told me he was an atheist after starting to say that he was praying for me. He said, "Well, I can't really say I'm praying for you because I'm an atheist." My theory is that he is angry with God and has decided he doesn't WANT to believe in God. I just don't believe that you would accidentally start to tell someone that you are praying for them if you had been an atheist your whole life. I've been praying that God would somehow reveal Himself to the guy. It has made me think a lot about why/how I know God is real and though I would never do well in a theological debate with someone about it, I'm so glad that I can say that I have felt God's love in my life. I know that He cares for me and I see ways that He is working in my life every day. I personally am happy that there is a God to believe in. And I'm happy that my God loves me enough, even as I am, to suffer so much for my salvation and make it possible for me to go to Heaven someday. You can search from one end of the earth to the other, and I'm certain you won't find another god like that anywhere. And that is reason enough this Easter to worship Him and celebrate who He is and what He did.
I realize my thoughts are very jumbled here. I am not very articulate anyway, and then when I start just putting down things as they come to mind, it's like my thoughts are too scattered and coming too fast for me to be able to sort them out and make them sound right. I hope you will someow get what I was trying to say. I hope you all have a blessed Easter!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Kaelyn can sing!

Tonight we went down to the Browns for pizza and wings. I was playing the piano when Kaelyn came along and wanted to sing so I started playing some songs she knows. Much to our surprise and delight, she sang[mostly]on tune and she had quite a clear sounding voice. I posted the 4 songs she sang. You will see me laughing on the ABC song because she "spoke" one of the phrases just like it is on one of her toys. Unfortunately, she turned away at the end but if you listen, you can still here her go up at the end and hit a high note. She was kind of getting tired of it by the time we got the camera and then had to change batteries so she got softer and more distracted but you will still get the general idea. My accompaniments are much simpler than I usually play the piano because I was trying to play so that she could be heard. So without further adieu, Kaelyn in concert! :)
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Thursday, April 2, 2009

Kaelyn shares the rules for circle time at school

I was talking with Kaelyn's teacher today and she asked me if Kaelyn had told me what the rules for circle time were. Kaelyn had not told me so her teacher said, "Oh it's so cute. You've got to hear her." So they went through them all. I thought it was so cute that I recorded her saying them right before she went to bed tonight. They also do "calendar" every day in circle time which Kaelyn has become quite interested in. Even though I'm not quite sure she completely understands the concept of a day, she always wants to know what day it is now. I included two different "takes" of her saying them. I'm not sure whether you will have to move to the next slide to see the second one or if they will both just play automatically but there are two there. In case you can't quite understand them all, the rules are: eyes are watching, voice is quiet, body is still, ears are listening, raise your hand if you want a turn. They have little motions for each one. She can't quite figure out how to cross her arms to put her hands on her shoulders for "body is still" so it's kind of funny to see. She has been a little confused as to why they don't say it's March anymore but she seems to remember now that it's "Napril" instead of March but you can see her really concentrating to remember what today is.

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Deep, Dark Confessions About Rodents, Rodent Pranks, and My Own Rat Story

I have a confession to make - I HATE mice and rats! That might not seem like big news to any of you but let me explain. I always acted like I wasn't that bothered by them when I was a kid so that I wouldn't be teased. Worse yet - and I should be ashamed to admit this - but as a kid, I did my share of teasing others who were afraid of mice if I knew I could get a response. For instance, I somehow discovered (don't ask me how) that I could break pieces of a burned candle wick off and put them in a kitchen drawer and it looked exactly like mouse droppings and my mom would kind of flip out. I think if I would have realized how much extra work it made for my mom, I wouldn't have done it - maybe. I've "confessed" my little prank since I've been an adult and my mom pointed out the fact that any time she found any "droppings" in a drawer, she always emptied the whole drawer out and scrubbed and sterilized everything including the drawer itself. She did have to laugh at my incredible cleverness of "making" my own droppings though. Years later when I was in college (and obviously still a big tease) we would tease my baby sister Joy. She was about two years old at the time and had probably never seen a mouse but she she just knew from people's reactions (more on that in a minute) that a mouse was something to be greatly feared. I would wink at my younger siblings to give them the cue for our joke and then I would yell "MOUSE!" We would all run to all the chairs and pull our feet up off the floor. Poor Joy would run frantically from wherever she was and scramble up anywhere she could to get off the floor. I know it was mean and I'm sorry Joy but I can't help it, I'm sitting here chuckling now remembering it. So, as you can see, it's a pretty big confession for me to admit that I dislike them and I would flip out if one ran across my foot. In all fairness to me, my fear comes quite naturally since one of my family members was so scared of them when I was a kid that they would scream, jump up on chairs and tables, etc. if one crossed the floor. I'm not going to mention any names because I wouldn't want to embarrass my mom. :) I'll never forget the time some of my mom's family was at our house. We kids were telling them all about one of [the anonymous person's] most recent and dramatic reactions to a mouse sighting which we all found funny. My grandma said, "Nancy, you oughtta' be ashamed of yourself! A great big 'ole thing like you being scared of a tiny, little mouse!" (Obviously, my mom didn't get her fear of mice from her mother!) When my grandma realized how her comment sounded, she quickly tried to explain - to everyone's teasing - that she just meant "big compared to a mouse". By the way, just to clarify, my mom is NOT and has never been "great big". It didn't help my childhood fears that one time a mouse had gotten into some poisoning and was apparently delirious. My dad woke up in the middle of the night to the feeling of something running across his chest so he flung at it and realized it was a mouse. (It was later found dead.) You wanna' talk about the Heebie Jeebies! I wish there was more logic to my fears like with people who hate snakes or spiders. If I could be like, "I don't mind mice but I just worry when I see one that it's going to be one of the poisonous, vicious ones that could kill me" then my fears would be more reasonable and understandable. People have said ridiculous things to me before like, "Yeah, but look at how cute Mickey Mouse is" as if to imply all mice are that cute. No, I'm sorry but Mickey Mouse would NEVER chew up your belongings, leave his droppings, and he DEFINITELY wouldn't scamper across your feet with his long tail!
In Florida, we don't seem to have that many mice but there are rats. I've heard stories from others but we have not personally had a rat in our house that we know of. However, after the "stinky house" incident which we were pretty sure was caused by a dead rat up under the house, I have felt a little nervous about the possibility of a rat in the house. The other night after I had put Kaelyn to bed, Kevin and I were both sitting in the living room using our computers. I heard "the noise" from the kitchen first. It didn't really sound like gnawing or scampering - it was just a sound that you should not hear coming from an otherwise quiet kitchen. After a couple minutes, Kevin heard it too. Now I am not a screamer. As a matter of fact, when I'm kind of afraid, like on a roller coaster, I laugh. Yes, I know I'm weird but I laugh or am deathly quiet on roller coasters. I don't really freak out over things like snakes, spiders, bugs etc. though I don't particularly care for them but I quickly informed Kevin that if I saw a rat in the house I just might scream and he would see a girlie girl side of me that he probably didn't even know existed in me. He muttered something supportive like "Great". So there we sit in the living room hearing this "noise" every little bit. I finally said, "I keep hearing something out there." Well, Kevin has learned the language of "marriagese" quite well over the past few years so he interpreted my comment well. He knew it really meant, "I know I'm not saying it directly but would you please get up and go see what's out there?" So he bravely went out to the kitchen to see if he could find anything. I sat on the couch in the living room with me feet safely tucked up under me. I watched his investigation intently though so that if something scampered out at him, I could scream for him - I knew he would be appreciative. :) He never did see anything. I was in a quandary though when I had to walk out to the kitchen later that night. I wasn't sure whether to stomp my feet and sing loudly or tiptoe. Part of me thought if "it" knew I was in the kitchen, it would naturally stay hidden from the noise and clatter. The other part of me feared that it would run out trying to find a safer place or just out of pure curiosity to see what kind of crazy human lived at this house. I finally let maturity overrule my nervousness and I just walked timidly so as not to wake my daughter over my foolishness. We've never seen any other indications of having a creature in the house right now. I don't know if Kevin's brave confrontation scared something off or if [most likely] there was nothing to start with but I'm just as happy to have it that way! Oh, and by the way, I personally think that Mickey and Minnie feel slightly insulted to be in the same category as those other fearsome creatures! :)